Zowie Broach Co-Founder of Fashion Label Boudicca to Join Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art today announced that Zowie Broach will succeed Professor Wendy Dagworthy as its new Head of Fashion.
Broach comes to the RCA after a spectacular career at the forefront of the art/fashion scene as co-founder and designer of British fashion house Boudicca. Started in 1997 as a purely artistic expression, showing in art galleries and other exhibition spaces, the brand has since garnered international plaudits for its visionary approach to fashion.
A graduate of both Plymouth (Fine Art) and Middlesex (Fashion Textiles), Broach’s 12 years as a fashion educator has included eight years at Westminster, teaching at both BA and Master’s level, as well as periods at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, SIAC in Chicago, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, and the RCA. Between 2009 and 2011 she was Designer in Residence at London College of Fashion, a role that incorporated talks, lectures and research and most recently as Senior Researcher in Creative Practice.
Broach, along with creative partner Brian Kirkby, founded avant-garde studio Boudicca in 1997. Boudicca’s innovative work eloquently yet disobediently explores the creative territories between and beyond the worlds of art and design. Boudicca first presented collections in London and New York, and became the first independent British fashion house to be invited as a guest member of the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2007. In 2012 they exhibited in Fashioning the Object at the Art Institute of Chicago and collaborated with filmmaker Mike Figgis at the Royal Opera House which lead to a solo show in London, where a new body of digital work was presented from the notable fellowship program at the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University.
'We are really excited that Zowie is to join the College as our next Head of Fashion,” said Professor Judith Mottram, incoming Dean of the School of Material. “The selection panel was very impressed by Zowie’s serious commitment to teaching, research and innovation. Her candidacy was also striking for its combination of practice at the boundaries of so many relevant fields – fashion, design, technology and visionary thinking; and of course, having developed and expanded Boudicca into a globally-recognised brand, her strong links with industry.'
Professor Naren Barfield, Pro Rector (Academic) said, 'After a rigorous selection process, Zowie emerged as the outstanding candidate, and we are delighted to have such a formidable successor to Professor Wendy Dagworthy. Well known throughout the cultural sector, she will build on the incredible success of the programme, and lead it with great energy and imagination to face the challenges and opportunities of the future.'
Broach commented: 'I'm honoured to be joining the Royal College of Art. An outstanding international institution, it has a reputation for innovation, which is second to none and I'm looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead. RCA Fashion graduates are known for their exceptional creativity and I’m eager to begin working with my new team to help shape the next generation of designers. I’m also excited about collaborating with colleagues from across the College to support the creation of new academic opportunities and the growth of material research – both within the RCA and with external partners.'
Broach’s appointment marks the culmination of a comprehensive international search. She will join the College at the start of the new academic year on 1 October 2014.